ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

Quest for Fire at 6:
Initail Correspondence

Following is a letter from the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) president in the Ferris school district, to Mrs. Abalos regarding the showing of the R-rated movie, Quest for Fire to Ferris Elementary school first graders. Mrs. Abalos' reply follows the letter from Erickson. These are provided FYI.

Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

Subject: RE: Movie Shown At School
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 22:25:24 -0500

Hi Tawny,

It's late and didn't want to risk waking you.

I spent the day gathering information and this is what I have come up with:

I talked to several board members of various PTA's about the issue. They have all advised that this is a school board issue - not a Parent-Teacher issue. The purpose of the PTO is not to police teachers, but to come up with ideas and solutions to enhance the learning experience for students, including but not limited to various parent-education classes, fundraising to enable the students to obtain education and items that wouldn't normally be covered in a school budget, and a means of getting teachers and parents to know one another better. It is designed to be a positive experience. It is the school board's responsibility to hire, fire or take disciplinary action with the teachers on staff.

Personally, I am not troubled by the parts of the movie that the children saw. I have spoken with the principal who viewed the portions of the film [the art teacher] played for the children. I don't feel what they saw was any different than the educational movies I saw in school.....many of them showed descriptive scenes of battle (historical movies about indians, the civil war etc.). [The principal] also stated that [the art teacher] demonstrated how she stood in front of the screen when going to another part of the film and that she was always very careful to completely hide the screen from view while fast-forwarding.

Most children tell their parents about the things they did and saw during the school day and there have been no other complaints. Many parts of "R" rated movies are shown in commercials and previews at the theatres so our children are exposed to portions of these movies on a very frequent basis. The portions shown are acceptable for all audiences, which is what I believed happened at the school. Actually, I have seen several rated "R" movies that I would have loved the kids to be able to see except for small portions of the film.

I also believe that we are unable to protect our children from every bad influence they may be exposed to. Our best protection is to teach them good morals and standards so when inappropriate things come their way, they are able to judge it wrong and steer away from it. The few times I have allowed the kids to ride the bus home, they have come home with stories of things they heard kids talking about that were far worse than this movie, and I have been asked questions about subjects that young children shouldn't even know enough to ask about!

They have pulled all movies from the school except those rated "G" or Regional 10 educational movies. No other movies will be allowed in the school. I think this was a case of poor judgement that has been rectified and shouldn't go any farther. [The art teacher] has a deep love for these children and the kids all seem to adore her and love art class.

You mentioned that your husband was an elder in the church and this was one of the reasons this situation bothered you so much. The examples that I have read in the bible were that Christ was very forgiving of those that had erred but were willing to correct their ways. (P.S. Many of the accounts even biblically are very violent but I wouldn't dream of not teaching my children the teachings found there.)

If you still feel this is something you must pursue, you will need to take it up with Mr. Hairgrove at the school board. I'm sure you already know him if you are scheduled to attend the board meeting.

I'm not sure what my schedule will be like tomorrow, but if you need to talk try giving me a call or leave a message as to how late I can call back.


[PTO President]

Subject: My response to PTO pres.
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 00:24:30 EDT

[PTO President],

I am undescribably dissappointed in your comments. I guess your relationship with the principal or others at the school is more important than what our children are subjected to. I cannot believe you can honestly tell me that you weren't bothered by our children seeing these ape-monster-looking creatures, a spear being thrust down the throat and out the back of the head, nudity, and cavemen beating each other with rocks. My daughter is still having nightmares-really.

Do you realize that this tape has cannibalism, oral sex, and other sex acts in it? What if a high school student had this in their possession at school and a teacher found it? Wouldn't that student be suspended or criminal charges brought up for pornography? Why should a teacher be able to show it to 6 year olds?!!!

I am very upset that other parents have not known or complained. That just goes to show how bad our society has deteriorated!!! Oh, people say, "what is happening to our children today? How do incidents like Columbine happen?" Well, I think it occurs when people blow-off situations like this and say," Many parts of "R" rated movies are shown in commercials and previews at the theaters so our children are exposed to protions of these movies on a very frequent basis". Just because they are, does that make it OK?!!!

You say, "that you believe that we are unable to protect our children from every bad influence they may be exposed to." Does that mean, "The heck with it. What's gonna happen is gonna happen". You say that we should teach our children right from wrong so they can steer away from it. Well that is exactly what MY daughter did when she told me about this movie- except she didn't have an opportunity to steer away from it. It was forced down her throat by her teacher of all people!!!

I never said that this situation bothered me because my husband was an elder in the church. Yes, my husband is a deacon, but we are upset because this was wrong, it has affected my child, and our school district is not doing enough. Yes, God does say to forgive, and we can pray for her and forgive her. But that doesn't mean that we can't fight for our child's rights. We want to make sure that no other child has to be subjected to what our child had to.

I think we have no further reason to talk.


The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

ChildCare Action Project
Post Office Box 177
Granbury, TX 76048-0177

Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

Please feel free to write to us.

You are welcome to
Go back to the Quest for Fire Table of Contents Page
Top of the CAP Home Page
CAP Table of Contents

or leave me an email message or comment at

Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

In the name of Jesus:
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP)

Click Here For